Basketball: Brown brings down Towers

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The Independent Online
LONDON TOWERS were knocked out of the League Trophy quarter-finals by Leicester City Riders at Crystal Palace last night, after their preparations were upset by speculation they intend importing a new American before Sunday's transfer deadline.

Karl Brown, the former London player who was the leading Riders scorer with 16, scored the winning point in their 62-61 victory from the free- throw line with four seconds to play, earning Leicester a place in the last four alongside the holders Sheffield Sharks, Manchester Giants and Derby Storm.

The Sharks defeated Chester Jets 82-75 at Sheffield Arena, Manchester routed Birmingham Bullets 96-72 at Aston Villa, while Derby had a 107- 102 home win over Newcastle Eagles.

Towers have their full quota of five Americans and one will have to go to make room for a new player, but their general manager, Rick Taylor, angrily refused to be drawn on the club's plans. "No comment. I'm not going into it. This is messing with players' futures," he said.

Towers were desperate to keep any signing secret, in case they are unable to obtain a new work permit and needed to leave the squad unchanged.

The unlikely named Randy Duck was the focus of the speculation. "He tried out with us a week ago and now he's trying out with German clubs," Taylor said.

Manchester shut out Birmingham's leading scorers Nigel Lloyd and Reggie Kirk at Aston Villa as the Bullets were hit with runs of 14-0, 18-2 and 23-6. Ronnie Baker scored seven three-pointers in his game-high 25 points and Manchester's former Bullet Tony Dorsey scored 24.

Terrell Myers led Sheffield scorers against Chester with 24 points, while Derby, whose coach, Bob Donewald, has been banned for two games and fined pounds 300 for abusing an official, outscored Newcastle Eagles 37-19 in the third quarter to lead 85-65, but then had to hang on for their five-point win.